What is Spring Admission?

From a Spring Admit to Y'all:

Due to a large number of applicants and NYU’s inability to accept all the wonderful and talented young rockstars, the leadership team created a program, called Spring Admissions, aiming to give more students a chance to attend NYU. Instead of starting in September (aka the Fall semester), Spring Admits start their first year in January (aka the Spring semester). I know, you might have a lot of questions, so let’s break it down.

Although you do start almost 5 months later than most of your class, the Spring Admit program is an accelerated program specifically designed to still let you graduate alongside your classmates who began their studies in the Fall. Only 4 schools out of 10 NYU undergraduate schools are able to enroll students starting in January. These include: Liberal Studies, Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, Tandon School of Engineering, and School of Professional Studies.

The Gist: You start your college career in January, stay at NYU for the summer of your first year to catch up, and instead of completing your undergraduate degree in 4 years, you do it in 3.5 years instead.

"If NYU is really your dream school, why not wait for 5 months?!"

How Being a Spring Admit Affects My Undergraduate Career

As a Spring Admit in Liberal Studies, I can confidently say that Spring Admission only affects your first year studies. Instead of taking classes in the Fall and Spring (September to May), you complete your academic coursework in the Spring and Summer semesters (January to beginning – mid August). After completing your summer course work, you will all caught up with yours peers who started in the Fall.

Since all NYU students take core classes during their first year, your respective school has created sample schedules for each major that accepts Spring Admits. Click on your school below to find what classes you should expect to take during your first two semesters at NYU.

NYU Liberal Studies | NYU Steinhardt | NYU Tandon | NYU SPS

My Gap Semester Experience

We often find ourselves in situations that don’t match our plans or agendas. Gap semester was one of those moments for me. Following high school graduation and a summer break, I expected to start NYU in the Fall. Spring Admission was not something I expected or even knew existed. I also wasn’t sure if it was a path worth taking and the time between my break and NYU worth waiting. But a friend asked me: “If NYU is really your dream school, why not wait for 5 months?!” And so I did.


Prague 6
Prague 7
Prague 4
Prague 2
Prague 5
Prague 1
Prague 3

I would be a hypocrite to say that my gap semester was perfect and movie-like. First, my parents didn’t let me go on a service trip that I spent the whole summer planning and would pay for out of my own pocket. Later, in my Humanitarianism class, I learned that one-time short-term service trips, although fun, might not be the best way to actually make a difference in people’s lives. Then, there were moments when I felt alone trying to make sense of the situation I found myself in. Unproductive. Bored. Confused. But, looking back now, I think this gap semester allowed me to slow down, reconnect with my family after 3 years in a boarding school half across the world, as well as put me on the path of understanding that having a busy schedule doesn’t always equate to leading a meaningful life. 

Overall, it wasn’t an easy time: it was filled with suspense for the unknown, but perhaps it was necessary. I got to meet old friends by exploring Prague together and gained my first work experience. I am grateful that things worked out the way they did back then. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have lived on the floor, where I met my closest friends; or have taken the classes I did, or learned from certain professors, who have sharpened my critical thinking and, in some ways, have shaped my views and understandings of the world. It all happens for a reason, I guess?!

Gap Semester Ideas

  • traveling (when the world goes back to normal)
  • go on hikes or road trips
  • take classes at your local college (you might be able to receive NYU credit for them)
  • find an internship
  • work and save up some money!!!
  • do community service 
  • volunteer in your community or abroad
  • make your own project
  • read 1 book a week
  • start a blog/YouTube channel
  • write a short story or a weekly column
  • learn coding
  • pick up and practice a language
  • do a yoga retreat
  • try something that will help you figure out what you’re passionate about
  • learn how to play a guitar
  • contact your NYU advisor to talk about school
  • connect with other Spring Admits online… Zoom meetups?
  • research cool things/ places/ organizations in NYC
  • you don’t have to plan anything – go with the flow

There are so many options! Think about it. When will you ever have almost 5 month to do what your heart desires while having complete freedom and no academic responsibilities?

P.S. watch YesTheory for inspiration.

The Elephant in the Room

Does Spring Admission Say Anything About My Academic Achievement / Competency?

*my very personal and subjective opinion solely based on my personal experience* 

This is the question that many, if not all of us, Spring Admits, have pondered upon. Am I somehow different from Fall admits? Am I not good enough? Are my scores lower? Is NYU just trying to make more money? 

The truth is there are no definite answers. But, to be honest, I am not sure if these even matter. As a Spring Admit, you have access to the same resources and opportunities, held to the same academic standards, exposed to the same professors, community, and students. You are in the environment, where you will be guided on your academic and personal journey like everyone else at NYU, regardless of the term of admission. What matters the most, I think, is you. Your attitude, outlook on this whole thing, as well as what you do once you get to NYU. 

College years, in general, are about growth; about becoming a person you’re happy to wake up as everyday (cheesyyy but true, friends). It is not about being “bigger, better, or higher,” like it might sometimes seem to be in high school. Yes, for sure, many of us have to worry about post-undergraduate plans, like admission to medical or law schools, or PhD, or fellowships, research grants – you name it. But your journey and story are way more powerful and defining than some Spring Admission program. 


And you made it, you got into NYU! Congratulations 🙂